Today: July 20, 2024

The Love Lottery

Referred to by film producer Sir Michael Balcon as one of the worst films made at the prestigious Ealing Studios, Charles Crichton’s The Love Lottery is a disappointing and often bizarre entry in British film history that wastes the talents of all involved.

The film, clearly attempting to be a biting showbiz satire, follows Rex Allerton (David Niven), a heartthrob movie star plagued by nightmares as he cracks under the pressure of his own stardom. In an attempt to get away from the pressure of fame, he relocates to a small Italian village where he finds himself manipulated into being the prize in a lottery to find him a wife. But things become complicated when he falls in love before the lottery is drawn.

Niven effectively plays himself as the superstar lead, although today’s audiences might not exactly buy the premise that he is the sexiest man on the planet and has women falling at his feet everywhere he goes. He’s perfectly fine in the role, but doesn’t exactly shine as brightly as the character he portrays. A supporting cast including Peggy Cummins, Anne Vernon and the great Herbert Lom are all equally adequate, but there isn’t a standout performance among them. Unfortunately, a disappointing script from Harry Kurnitz doesn’t give the cast anything particularly juicy to sink their teeth into in neither the film’s comedic nor romantic elements, while the satirical elements of the narrative aren’t biting enough to land.

The film looks beautiful thanks to the gorgeous locales, wonderfully shot by celebrated cinematographer Douglas Slocombe. And the film’s direction is decent, especially in the grandiose musical dream sequences despite ultimately feeling a little out of place alongside the rest of the film. 

This new release from Network as part of The British Film collection looks wonderful, remastered from the original film elements in the correct aspect ratio. Special features underwhelm with just a theatrical trailer and image gallery, but fans of the film will certainly be grateful just to see the film looking the cleanest it has in years.

The Love Lottery is a disappointing and dated entry in the Ealing Studios canon that wastes the talents of its superb cast thanks to a soulless script.

Samuel Love

Freelance writer. Email:

Previous Story

Jeepers Creepers

Next Story

Dawn of the Dead

Latest from Blog


Memory (2023)

Memory is an exquisite American drama in the tender embrace of Michel Franco’s cinematic prowess.


Following early screenings, Longlegs mania became something bigger than anyone could have predicted. After an eerie and ambiguous marketing campaign made up largely of short, cryptic teasers, hype was already pretty high

Inside No 9 Complete Collection Unboxing

Earlier this year, one of the finest television creations in the history of the medium came to a poignant conclusion after 9 impeccable seasons. Over 55 self-contained episodes, Inside No 9 made

A Bittersweet Life Unboxing

Taking a brief detour from horror, Second Sight Films have given their much-loved Limited Edition treatment to South Korean neo-noir thriller A Bittersweet Life (2005). Filmmaker Kim Jee-woon may jump wildly around

The Conversation Unboxing

Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece of paranoia The Conversation celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and StudioCanal are marking the occasion with this utterly beautiful Limited Edition 4K UHD Blu-ray release that even

Halo Season Two Unboxing

While the Halo TV series continues to be controversial with longtime ‘fans’ of the franchise for petty reasons, this year’s explosive second season certainly marked an improvement over the first. With better
Go toTop

Don't Miss

The Love Lottery

The Love Lottery is a curious beast. It’s a big-budget